Letters: Wednesday, March 02, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A 10-Foot Pole in Woodhaven

To the editor: Jeff Prince’s article on Woodhaven (“Fear and Loathing in Woodhaven,” Feb. 23, 2005) comprehensively discussed an issue most people don’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole. I worked for Tarrant County multifamily developers and management for 13 years until I finally realized I no longer had what it took to be in the godforsaken, cold-blooded, calloused, heartless business of housing thousands of people piled on top of one another. Actually, the final straw for me was when I was given a Woodhaven property to oversee. It was a 24-hour nightmare.
But the problem is not only one of density (units per acre). The problem is there is little to no affordable housing that is well thought-out and decent in Tarrant County. Nowhere for young people, or low to moderate income folks, or struggling single parents to live. “Regular guys’” salaries have not increased at the rate rents have. Not that long ago you could find a decent apartment for a couple of hundred dollars a month. But when developers realized how much return they could get on high-dollar “luxury communities,” they began to pop them up all over the place, raising the rent per foot everywhere. Developers don’t want to mess with low-to-moderate-income housing because no one gets filthy rich on it (and it’s a royal pain in the butt). And getting filthy rich as easily as possible is what most real estate investors are all about. With little to no incentive to provide and attract decent alternative housing to Tarrant County, what investor/developer in their right mind would take on the 24/7 monumental task anyway?
Carter Brakefield
Canyon Lake



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